Posts Tagged 'relax'

The Heart of it All

Time has still been flying by around here, and there has been lots of excitement.  Notably the end of our first terms, and our first round of exams.   Each semester at Fisher is divided into two 7 week terms, which means a new set of courses every 7 weeks, just to keep us on the bounce.  In addition to new classes, the internship search seems to be coming along, with people attending conferences out of state, second round interviews, and some starting to receive offers.  I had the chance to go to the MBA veterans conference in Chicago last week, which was a great opportunity to talk with companies specifically looking to recruit talent from top schools who are also veterans.

So, needless to say, life as an MBA student is still very busy, and requires proper time management.  That being said, life balance is still important, and students need to take time to enjoy life whenever possible.  As someone who is interested in supply chain management and operations, it hasn’t escaped my notice that there are a significant number of companies who have headquarters or distribution centers in the Columbus area, as well as Ohio in general.  Part of the reason for this is that a significant portion of the American population lives within a day’s drive of Ohio.  So while the state is not the geographic center of the country, it is in a strategic location for getting goods to customers.  In fact, I think one of the iterations of license plates the state used to have said “Ohio – the heart of it all.”

In keeping with the need for a healthy work-life balance, especially for people who haven’t traveled much within the U.S., Columbus is in a good spot for those who want to take weekend trips.  I consider about 6 hours (approx 350-400 miles) to be the most I would drive for a 2-3 day weekend trip and within that radius of Columbus are the following cities:

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, OH

Pittsburgh, PA

Indianapolis, IN

Chicago, IL

St Louis, MO

Detroit, MI

Buffalo, NY

Washington, DC

Lexington, Louisville, KY

Knoxville, Nashville, TN

And those are just some of the bigger cities that I can think of off the top of my head, there are many more smaller cities, national/state parks, lakes and other attractions worth visiting within that radius as well.  As you can see, Columbus, Ohio really is rather well situated to serve as a base of operations for someone who wants to have access to a large portion of the U.S., which is another attractive attribute of the Fisher MBA program.

 


Batter Up!

Just so that no one gets the wrong impressions that it is all work and no play around here, we do get chances on a regular basis to engage in a wide variety of activities outside of class and the career search.

For example, last Friday night was the first year vs. second year slow pitch softball game, organized by the Fisher social chair.  It was a fun, semi-competitive game, and a good chance to get to know other people from the program outside of the classroom setting.  The game was held at Fred Beekman park, a large sports complex with a variety of sports fields on West campus.

Even though people who attend top ranked MBA programs generally don’t like to lose so both teams wanted to win, everyone was still encouraged to play.  I hadn’t played softball since undergrad intramural leagues, which was some time ago, and still had a lot of fun participating and helping my team out.  Even though the weather wasn’t the most co-operative, the game was followed up with a cookout at fisher commons, where both teams and the spectators could enjoy some grilled food and beverages.

 It was really more about having fun and working on team skills with each other more than anything else.  If you think about it, those are valuable business skills to have, that are needed in the real world.  No one wants to work on a team with someone who has a bad attitude and isn’t willing to work with others in order to achieve goals. Also important is being able to clearly communicate among team members, as well as being able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of team members, and then  leverage that knowledge to make the team stronger to achieve goals. I guess that is a sign that business school and interview season have started to sink in, that I can relate everything to transferable business skills.

Keeping Pace

There was a saying that we used in the Marine Corps: “It is easier to keep up than catch up.”

This phrase mostly applied to things like running or forced marches in that context, but it seems to me that is is quite applicable to an MBA program as well.   Time management is a crucial skill that is needed in order to thrive in this sort of environment.  In the Marines they begin training in stress inoculation and time management almost immediately.  It is not uncommon in boot camp for something simple, like making a rack (bed), to be given an impossible, or nearly impossible time restriction, and it progresses from there to more complex issues with seemingly impossible time constraints.

Important life decisions.

Time management and the ability to work under duress are two of the many valuable skills (along with leadership), that the Marines helped instill in me.   So, back to the MBA program, during the program, there are a lot of priorities that need to be balanced.  Some of the main ones are:

  • School:  Not just going to all of my classes, but doing homework assignments, studying, and working on projects.
  • Future Careers:  Especially for people like myself looking to switch careers, I need to actively work on building my professional network, attend company info sessions and events, job fairs, apply for jobs, hopefully interview for jobs, work on my resume, and meet with my career counselor.

    First Career Fair as a graduate student today!

  • Student organizations:  There are a myriad of student organizations at Fisher, and they all offer valuable opportunities to students.  There is certainly not time to join all of them, but I have joined several, but each additional one requires an additional time commitment.
  • Personal:  This is possibly the easiest to neglect, but humans need sleep, and to eat, and every once and a while to relax.  Things like going to the gym take time, but it is something that should not be neglected.  Also, having a social life within the program is important.  A big part of business school seems to be networking, so doing things like going to happy hours, and football games are important to building strong relationships with classmates.

All of these areas need to be kept in balance, and maintained, sometimes one is going to be more in focus than the rest, but that doesn’t mean the rest can be neglected.  If I neglect an area, then I am going to fall behind in it, which means that in the future, I will need to expend the same amount of energy needed for it now, plus the energy needed for it in the future, in order to catch up.  That is in addition to meeting all of the other requirements from the other sections of my life.  So, a short term sacrifice now, causes long term harm if I decide to slack in one or more areas.  So, even though it might seem overwhelming sometimes, keeping up with it all is easier than trying to catch up with it all in the future.  I should thank my Drill Instructor for the life lesson.

 

Four simultaneous Script Ohio’s is an amazing thing.


Hocking Hills: A Great Autumn Escape

Having spent practically my whole life in San Francisco, temperatures rarely fluctuate out of the 50 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit range. The mild climate along with an abundance of evergreen trees creates the same landscape throughout all four seasons. It could as easily be raining in July as it could be sunny and warm in January. Thus, if you are visiting SF for the first time, make sure you pack an extra jacket regardless of the season. One of the many reasons why I chose to come to Columbus is to experience the different seasons of the year.

If you asked me about the beauty of autumn before I moved out to Ohio to start the SMF program, I would have told you that fall colors are a figment of some genius artist’s imagination and only appear on jigsaw puzzles. Earlier in November, after a grueling week of preparing for and taking two midterm exams and putting the final touches on a 10 week long group project, I was looking forward to taking a much needed break from studying my eyes out. I was ready to explore Ohio.  While asking around for suggestions, my hairstylist suggested a place about an hour drive southeast of Columbus.

My better half was visiting that weekend, so we decided to take the short road trip out there. We were so glad we did. We stopped by the Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park. The trail was about a mile and half long and connected to a shorter path that led to some falls. The falls were just a slow trickle, which was most likely due to the hot and dry summer. The park was littered with fallen leaves of all different colors and we could not have asked for a more beautiful place to hike through. Hocking Hills has several other trails that range from a quarter mile through the George Trail in the Ash Cave, to two and a half miles through the Conkle’s Hollow Rim Trail. When the weather gets better, we definitely plan on going back to check out what else the park has to offer.

Trekking through the Old Man’s Cave


Annie Leibovitz at the Wexner Center

As an SMF graduate student with limited funds, I love to maximize the utility I can get with every single bill that leaves my wallet, or rather, with every swipe of the plastic these days. From plotting all the happy hour spots around campus (check out James’ blog post on $3.50 burgers on Wednesday at Brazenhead), to scoring deeply discounted tickets to events (check out Jessica’s blog post on d-tix), there’s nothing more exciting than discovering fun things to do on a tight student budget.

One of the activities I would love to spend more of my free time on is visiting museums. Luckily for OSU students, we have the Wexner Center for the Arts on campus. Not only is the museum conveniently located, but admission is also free for all college students with ID. Do not worry if you are not a college student. The Wexner Center takes care of the general public as well by offering free admissions on the first Sunday of each month and every Thursday after 4 PM.

Currently, the masterpieces of Annie Leibovitz are on display through the end of the year. Annie started her career in the early 70s as a photographer for the Rolling Stone magazine and has amassed a huge collection of well-known celebrities she has worked with over the years. The works of art are not limited to musicians. The exhibit also includes iconic athletes like Muhammad Ali, actresses like Angelina Jolie, and political figures like Condoleezza Rice.

If you are on campus, you should definitely swing by the Wexner Center for the Arts and check out the exhibition! I promise you will not be disappointed.

 


Beyond the Ball

Breaking: OSU sports are not the only events in Columbus, OH

This post is specifically geared to the non-sports-fan audience.  So, if you ceremoniously watch ESPN’s SportsCenter, you may want to stop reading this now.  Furthermore, if your idyllic weekend involves countless hours of watching sports with a beer in hand, please stop here . . . the remaining content won’t likely appeal to you.

One thing that might be factoring into your b-school decision is where you’ll be living for the next two years.  Knowing that, I’ll try to give you a brief synopsis of Columbus and the options available to you from an food & culture standpoint.

ART & CULTURE Frankly, sports have never interested me from any aspect other than a social outing.  My favorite places to visit are art museums and galleries.  I could spend countless hours visiting them (but not every weekend).  There is a rather strong arts community in Columbus which I believe is fostered by the amount of colleges & universities within the city.  On campus, we have the Wexner Center for the Arts.  Just down High Street is The Short North district which houses multiple galleries, restaurants, and shops.  Further down the road, downtown, you’ll find the Columbus Art Museum, the Riffe Gallery, and CCAD’s Canzani Center Gallery.  Also downtown, my favorite space is Hawk Galleries… if glass is your passion, you’ll be in heaven.  Additionally, you can find more spaces in surrounding areas: German Village, Bexley, Grandview Heights, Dublin, and Delaware.  Admire from a distance or try your hand at creation… there’s a long list available.  I can’t possibly include them all here.

Beyond art, there are many other places to see and visit in Columbus.  For illustrative purposes, here’s a few: the Topiary Park, The Franklin Park Conservatory, The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, COSI, the Santa Maria, The Ohio Historical Center, The Ohio Statehouse, and the Ohio Expo Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.  Columbus is truly a great place for singles, couples, and families.  Art Festivals, Oktoberfest, the State Fair, Home & Garden Show, ComFest, and just about every cultural festival imaginable are all apart of this city’s calendar of events.  Want to enjoy the outdoors?  We have the Metroparks and additional options within a couple hours driving distance (Hocking Hills, Lake Erie, etc.).

FOODIES Also worth mentioning is the food culture in Columbus.  Home of White Castle, Donato’s, Wendy’s, Max & Erma’s, and Bob Evan’s, Columbus could be viewed as nothing more than fast food and strip malls.  Yes – Columbus has fast food and vast amounts of shopping which many people enjoy.  (Note: something for everyone.)  If you are familiar with terms like edamame, sous vide, tapenade, and aoli, read on.  Columbus’ destinations for foodies are gaining national recognition lately.  Recent articles have been published in The Washington Post and Columbus was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” when Anthony and Michael Ruhlman visited a few bright culinary spots in the city.  We also have our share of Farmer’s Markets that offer fresh fare late-Spring through Fall.

So, if you’re an international student (like my roommate Edouard) and not attached to American football, have no fear.  We are a diverse city that has many international influences (thanks to the amount of professionals entering and exiting the city working in government, higher education, retail, insurance, and banking).  Without a doubt, Columbus has something for everyone.  Rest assured – you will enjoy living here and, if you ever find yourself with some extra time on your hands (which is rare), there’s plenty to do right outside your door.

Want more?  Also visit Insider Ohio for additional information on the area.


My Two Other “Firsts” during the Weekend

Along with the accounting research seminar mentioned in my previous entry, I had my super-duper triple “firsts” at Ohio State during this pass weekend – my first Seminar, Swimming, and Skating!

The school’s swimming pools are located at the bottom level of RPAC (Recreation & Physical Activity Center), with a professional name “The OSU Aquatic Center”. I was grateful that I checked the center out before it’s too late (Thanks Nadia!). The Aquatic Center is one of the places that you cannot miss at Ohio State. It includes standard pools (for swimming and diving), recreational lap pools, a leisure pool, a hot tub, and two sauna rooms. The facility, especially the locker rooms, is designed considerately for users’ need. Everything is so cool (except for the temperature, because it’s warm) and makes the visit convenient and wonderful. I would have regretted it if I did not make best use of the facility during my stay at Ohio State.

The OSU Rink is great too. It is very close to Fisher and is adjacent to the parking lot on Lane Avenue. $3 for student admission and $2 for skate rental, great prices! Tips: the skates at the rink are a little too hard, so if you are a frequent skater, it might worth purchasing your own skates. My feet hurt a lot when I was skating which they never did before (though I have not been skating for many years). I am not sure whether that was totally the skates’ problem or I was not tying them tight enough. I will probably go skate again this week and figure it out.


It’s hard to believe it’s already mid-January

And the start of Week 3 of Winter Quarter!

The past week has had quite a few highlights, some school-related and some not.

1) Two very interesting Marketing lectures, with lots of eye-opening information about the anchoring effect, behavioral economics, irrational consumers, and many other concepts. Marketing is definitely one of my favorite classes this quarter.

2) A talk from an AEP representative about their ground-breaking Mountaineer, WV plant, with has the first large-scale carbon capture sequestration (CCS) operation. Our class learned a great deal about the technology behind CCS, the possible concerns, and the limitations of it.

3) AG’s apartment-warming party was a blast! There were at least 30 Fisher students, along with lots of AG’s other friends. It was nice to unwind with classmates, make some jokes, drink some tasty beverages, and get the long weekend started!

4) Reaching Expert level on several duets in “Beatles Rock Band”. What a blast!

5) (Successfully) cooking jambalaya for the first time. I was reminiscing about my trip to New Orleans over winter break, and decided that with a little luck, some sausage, rice, beans and spices, I too, could make jambalaya.

6) Getting matched with a “Little Sister” through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program. Nesha is awesome! She’s a freshman at a local high school, loves basketball and soccer, and has a very cool family. We had a nice lunch on Monday, and I introduced her to my guinea pigs, which she really enjoyed. I also showed her a bunch of games using the Wii Fit Balance Board – she was a natural! She did better on some of the balance games on her first try than I’ve ever done.

Well, it’s about time for my first class of the week, so I’ll sign off for now!

Stacey


Only 5 more times to go!

It’s official!

The MBA class of 2011 has finished their first quarter!

It’s been truly a blessing to meet so many interesting people – the students, the professors, the career management staff… pretty much everyone at Fisher has been wonderful to work with.

After reading some of the other bloggers’ posts from this week/weekend, I do not really want to repeat too much of what has already been said, so I’ll leave you with just a few words:

To those of you who are seeing your families before Winter quarter – enjoy the good food and conversations you are sure to have! To those vacationing in Columbus or elsewhere, I hope your travels and time off are safe and energizing! To everyone – take lots of pictures!

Stacey


Managerial Accounting: Kitchen Version

Expenses on food are the largest portion of my living cost besides rent. And the major account related to food is Inventory (raw material, work-in-process, and finished FOOD in Fridge). How to keep cost low, increase inventory turnover, while still maintaining your finished food’s quality become the main concern in the kitchen. Here are some tips followed by examples.

1. Refurbish leftovers.
Food22If you have some meat left from last meal or some leftovers from your doggie bag, mix them with fresh ingredients and create a new dish. Example: Roast chicken sandwich. I used the roast chicken left over from previous meal, and layered them with veggie and cheese on flat bread.

2. Diversify your products.
Example: Garden corn chowder. I figured I could never finish the milk I had in fridge before its expiration date. Coincidentally some fresh corns were on sale. This dish added delights to my day and also reduced the obsolete cost in production.

Food24Home 1883. Look at what you have in the fridge.
Many people like to stock up on-sale items in their fridge to lower their raw material unit cost, so do I. However, many times I found these goods deprecate faster than I can consume them. So based your production on what you have in the fridge, instead of on what is on the shelves in store. Example: Apple kiwi grape smoothie. I opened my fridge one day and saw the drying grapes. The kiwis were there for weeks and the bottle of ginger ale was occupying the space of my fridge. Simple enough I put all the peeled fruits and drink in the blender, adding an apple to increase the thickness.

4. Last but not least, Bento!
If you cook too much, just pack everything in your lunch box (a bento). It will save you time from running back and forth to grab lunch plus the food is totally homemade!Home 372


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